The first thing we learnt while working in a book club is that it can be quite difficult to work in a group and even the best of friends don’t always get along. Even though we are all good friends we argued a lot and struggled to come to a common understanding at times. When we first heard about the blog we formed a book club that consisted of seven members, however we soon realised that we had too many irreconcilable differences so we split our group up.

We think that this was a very important lesson to learn, particularly because we are going to be teacher’s one day and will be working with people that we don’t get along with often. Through this experience we also learnt how to deal with conflict and compromise to suite everyone in the group, and we think our blog turned out great and was truly a group-effort!

While working in a book club we also learnt that social media can be a fantastic way to communicate online and share ideas and get the opinions of others. We also shared our blog with a lot of people and found that it can be a great way to show others what we are doing.

The thing we most disliked about our interactions in the book club was finding time in our busy schedules to get together and discuss our books etc. However we soon realised that we can communicate directly on the blog so it turned out to be quite positive. We also had some difficulties actually creating a blog and getting it up and running, but once we created it and it all came together we had a lot of fun designing it and posting things.

Overall it was a great learning experience and we managed to overcome all our difficulties and we are very proud of the end result!

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In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone we found the value of friendship, love, humility and family.

We learnt that it is so important to value these features in our lives. As a person you need to show love and follow what you believe in.

The friendships you have and how you treat them is a reflection of who you are as a person. We might be strong on our own but we are much stronger when we have our friends by our side.

Life is a journey and not a destination and with it comes many ups and downs. With the right friends on your side you can overcome all obstacles no matter how challenging. We learned the importance of loyalty, friendship and bravery and also learnt that you have to keep going even when it seems that everything and everyone is against you. This is also an important feature that can be taught in our classes one day, that with the right friends we can overcome anything.  

We also learnt that humility is a very important characteristic to have. We succeed not because of what talents we possess but the choices we make in life, you can achieve anything as long as you believe in yourself. We also learnt from the book that no matter what we accomplish we must always stay grounded and humble.

We also learnt the importance of family, and found that it is one of the most important parts of life, people will do whatever it takes to protect their family. Even though you might not get along, when in need, your family is always there for you.

Lastly we learnt that love is such a strong emotion and one that cannot be denied. It is up to us as people to use this in a positive manner and show and receive this openly. Love is the most powerful force when it comes to defeating evil, not hate or anger. Love is the single most important factor. Family will sacrifice themself to save you and that sacrifice of love is so powerful. We learned the importance of self-sacrifice, patience, and pride. Believe in yourself but don’t let your pride get the better of you.

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Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizzardry, is a magical castle located somewhere in Scotland. It is invisible to muggles (humans) and it is the school where Witches and Wizzards go to learn magical spells and enchantments.

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Vernon Dursley 
 
Harry’s rich uncle, with whom Harry lives for ten miserable years. It is through Mr. Dursley’s jaded Muggle eyes that we first glimpse wizards, and his closed-mindedness toward the colorful cloaks and literate cats that he meets emphasizes how different the human and wizard worlds are.
 
Petunia Dursley 
 
Mr. Dursley’s wife. Petunia is an overly protective mother to her spoiled son, Dudley, and a prison-keeper to Harry. She is snobbish and excessively concerned with what the neighbors think of her family. She is somewhat humanized for us when we discover that she was always jealous of the magical gifts of her sister, Lily, Harry’s witch mother. Perhaps her hatred toward Harry springs from an earlier resentment of her sister.
 
Dudley Dursley 
 
Harry’s cousin, a spoiled, fat bully. Annoying and loud, Dudley manipulates his parents to get what he wants. Dudley’s tormenting of Harry foreshadows Malfoy’s later bullying tendencies at Hogwarts, though he is less gifted than Malfoy.

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Albus Dumbledore  
 
The kind, wise head of Hogwarts. Though he is a famous wizard, Dumbledore is as humble and adorable as his name suggests. While other school officials, such as Professor McGonagall, are obsessed with the rules, Dumbledore respects them (as his warnings against entering the Forbidden Forest remind us) but does not exaggerate their importance. He appears to have an almost superhuman level of wisdom, knowledge, and personal understanding, and it seems that he may have set up the whole quest for the Philosopher’s Stone so that Harry could prove himself.

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Hagrid 
 
An oafish giant who works as a groundskeeper at Hogwarts. Rubeus Hagrid is a well-meaning creature with more kindness than brains. He cares deeply for Harry, as evidenced by the tears he sheds upon having to leave the infant Harry with the Dursleys. His fondness for animals is endearing, even if it gets him into trouble (as when he tries raising a dragon at home). Hagrid symbolizes the importance of generosity and human warmth in a world filled by conniving villains.

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Professor McGonagall 
 
The head of Gryffindor House at Hogwarts and a high-ranking woman in the wizard world. Minerva McGonagall is fair but extremely stern and severe in her punishments. Her devotion to the letter of the law is impressive but a bit cold, and we constantly feel that she could never become a warm and wise figure like Dumbledore.
 
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Professor Snape  
 
A professor of Potions at Hogwarts. Severus Snape dislikes Harry and appears to be an evil man for most of the story. His name associates him not only with unfair snap judgments of others but also with his violent intentions to snap the bones of his enemies. Snape’s grudge against Harry, which is nevertheless far from a murderous ill will, helps us remember the difference between forgivable vices and unforgivable evil intentions.

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Professor Quirrell 
 
A stuttering and seemingly harmless man, and a professor of Defense against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. Quirrell appears as nervous and squirrelly as his name suggests for most of the story. It is he, for example, who nearly faints when announcing the news that a troll is loose in the school. It turns out later, however, that Quirrell has faked his withdrawing meekness and is actually a cold-blooded conniver.

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Harry Potter

Harry Potter is the main character in The Philosopher’s Stone. The whole story revolves around him and his adventures. He is definitely the protagonist of the story. Harry has a scar on his forhead which he got from his first encounter with his nemesis, Lord Voldemort. As he matures, he shows himself to be caring and shrewd, a loyal friend, and an excellent Quidditch player.

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Ron Weasly

Ron is a shy, modest boy who comes from a poor wizard family. Ron is Harry’s first friend at Hogwarts, and they become close. He is very loyal and helps Harry throughout their adventures. Ron’s mediocrity despite his wizard background reminds us that success at Hogwarts is based solely on talent and hard work, not on family connections. Ron’s willingness to be beaten up by the chess queen shows how selfless and generous he is.

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Hermione Granger 

Initially an annoying goody-two-shoes who studies too much and obeys the school rules too much. Hermione eventually becomes friendly with Harry after she learns to value friendship over perfectionism and obedience. She comes from a purely Muggle family, and her character illustrates the social-adjustment problems often faced by new students at Hogwarts.

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The main themes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone are:

*Family*

Family is a very important theme throughout Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Harry misses the family he never knew, his parents, and he hates the ones he is stuck with, the Dursleys. However, Harry meets a new family at Hogwarts, his friends Ron, Hermione, Hagrid and Dumbledore. And they all care for him and show him great love and loyalty that he never knew before.

*Friendship*

Making friends is arguably one of the best things about going to Hogwarts. Harry Potter and some of the other characters who’ve been set apart by their magical abilities, making real friends is only possible at wizarding school. Harry meets a lot of great friends at Hogwarts and his friendship with Ron and Hermione is the most special, one that will last for the rest of his life.

Harry’s friendship with Ron and Hermione is also significant in the way that it further distinguishes Harry from Voldemort. Although Voldemort is far more powerful than Harry, he prefers to be isolated and independent from those around him. Even Professor Quirrell, who drinks unicorn blood for him, is nothing more than a servant to Voldemort. Because Voldemort lacks the ability to form lasting friendships, he is always alone and has only himself to rely on. Harry, on the other hand, is able to rely on himself while still drawing upon the support system and exceptional magical talents of his close friends.

*Love*

Love plays a crucial role in Harry Potter, as well as all of the remaining books in the series. In the very beginning of the book it already talks about Harry’s ability to survive Voldemort’s killing curse as a direct result of his mother’s love. By sacrificing her own life to save that of her son, Lily Potter gave Harry a magical form of protection that shielded him from Voldemort’s curse and nearly destroyed the dark wizard. As Professor Dumbledore says, Voldemort is incapable of understanding love, particularly in comparison to the strength of his own dark power, and so he was taken entirely by surprise when it came to Lily’s sacrifice.

Harry’s own ability to love and be loved are the key traits that distinguish him from Voldemort and ensure that Harry will never be seduced by the Dark Arts.

*Choice*

One of the most important themes in the book is the concept of choice and free will. From the start of the book, there are many similarities between Harry and Voldemort: their twin wands, their connection to snakes, even some aspects of their appearance. In some respects, Harry seems destined to follow in the footsteps of Voldemort, a destiny which is demonstrated in the Sorting Hat’s initial intention to sort Harry into Slytherin House. Yet, Harry refuses to take a passive role when it comes to his own future, particularly when it means following the path marked by the dark wizard who killed his parents. Thus, instead of accepting the Sorting Hat’s decision, Harry refuses to be placed in Slytherin House and is placed in Gryffindor House instead.

As Professor Dumbledore later explains to Harry, it is the choices made by an individual that determine what kind of person they are and what kind of person they will become. Nothing is cut in stone when it comes to an individual’s future, but, as Harry demonstrates, each individual has the opportunity to change the direction of their life through significant, as well as insignificant, choices.

*The Importance of Rebellion*

Over the course of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” Harry, Ron, and Hermione break many school rules in pursuing their adventures. Harry, in particular, is always willing to break a Hogwarts rule if it means taking action or doing something that he believes is right. He is able to think for himself and, depending on the situation, making judgment calls that have the potential to save lives. Moreover, Harry is perfectly willing to accept the consequences for his rebellion, just as long as he is able to take action when he can.

It is significant to note that Harry never breaks the rules simply for the sake of breaking them: he breaks rules only when he truly believes that his actions are necessary.

*Death*

Near the end of the book, Professor Dumbledore tells Harry, “Death is but the next great adventure.” and death isn’t described as something to be feared or dreaded, but rather a part of the natural cycle of life that should be embraced as part of an individual’s humanity. Death can also be viewed as something beautiful.

*Power*

The theme of power serves as another distinguishing trait between Harry and Voldemort. Voldemort’s primary goal during his reign of terror over Britain was to acheive absolute power in both the wizarding and Muggle community. Even after he is nearly destroyed by his backfiring killing curse, Voldemort’s objective is still to achieve absolute power, first by stealing the Philosopher’s Stone and using the elixir of life to construct another body and second, to reach the same height of power that he had enjoyed before his downfall. Harry, on the other hand, has no interest in acheiving absolute power. His modest and pure nature leads him to desire nothing more than the company of his lost parents, as well as a little less attention from those around him. In fact, it is because Harry does not desire power that he is able to retrieve the Philosopher’s Stone from within the Mirror of Erised: Professor Quirrell and Voldemort both want to use the Stone to gain power.

*Humility*

One of the primary traits that differentiate Harry from the more evil characters in the book, such as Voldemort and Draco Malfoy, is his humility. Despite his reputation as the boy-who-lived and his skills in Quidditch, Harry maintains a modest persona throughout the novel. If anything, the extra attention that he receives because of his background makes him uncomfortable and insecure; he feels that he can never be extraordinary enough to be worthy of such an esteemed reputation. Harry’s humility is, in part, a direct result of his neglected childhood with the Dursleys. Because he was never treated as someone who was special, Harry grew up with the understanding that respect is not readily given and must be acheived. When Dumbledore left Harry with the Dursleys, he knew that Harry would be mistreated. Yet, he also realized that, by growing up away from the wizarding world that would put him on a pedestal, he ensured that Harry would grow up without being spoiled by pride and arrogance.

Harry’s humility becomes particularly significant as a theme of the book when he faces Voldemort in the dungeons of Hogwarts. Neither Voldemort nor Professor Quirrell is able to retrieve the Philosopher’s Stone from the Mirror of Erised because they are both thinking of ways that the Stone will benefit themselves. Harry, on the other hand, thinks only of retrieving the Stone in order to save other people from Voldemort’s evil: with his humble nature, it would never occur to him to use the Sorcerer’s Stone for his own selfish purposes.